• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi NewsAn application made by Simbamanyo Estates and Mr Peter Kamya seeking a temporary injunction to stop the sale or transfer of Simbamanyo House (now the Gender and Labour House) and the Afrique Suites Hotel in Kampala was made before the Commercial Court in Kampala last month.

The commercial court dismissed the application, and in a separate ruling ordered the re-assessment of taxation costs that had been awarded to Equity Bank, Meera Investments (owned by Dr Sudhir Ruparelia), and Luwaluwa Investments.

While dismissing the application, Justice Stephen Mubiru in his ruling decided that it was unjust to temporarily stop Luwaluwa Investments and Meera Investments from selling or transferring Afrique Suites and Simbamanyo House.

“The applicants (Simbamanyo Estates and Mr Peter Kamya) in need for such protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of two respondents (Luwaluwa Investments and Meera Investments) to be protected against injury resulting from being prevented from exercising their legal rights, for which they may not be adequately compensated in damages…,” Justice Mubiru said.

“I, therefore find that the balance of convenience in favour of respondents (Luwaluwa Investments and Meera Investments). In light of the foregoing, the order if granted, would inflict greater hardship than it would avoid, hence the balance favours not granting the temporary injuction order. The application is accordingly dismissed,” he added.

The justice noted that the reasoning is that the two properties (Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites) have since October 8, 2020, or about that time, been transferred and are in the physical possession of Meera Investments and Luwaluwa Investments.

In a separate ruling concerning the taxation costs, Justice Mubiru noted that tax costs given to Luwaluwa Investments and Meera Investments were slightly excessive, since the cases from which they arose were not more complex than ordinary cases. There was no reason to award such high costs.

“I find that the conditions are met in this case, and therefore it is proper that the three bills of costs should be returned to the taxing officer for taxation. In the final results, the appeal succeeds. The award of costs is set aside, and the three bills of costs are hereby returned back to the registrar for taxation. Each party shall bear their costs of appeal,” he reasoned.

The decision to have the taxation costs looked into again followed an application in which Simbamanyo Estates and its owner, Peter Kamya, were challenging the taxation costs given to Equity Bank, Meera Investments and Luwaluwa Investments for being unfairly excessive.

During the taxation of the bill of costs, the registrar had awarded USh600 million to Equity bank, USh400 million to Meera Investments and USh300 million to Luwaluwa Investments. The money was to cater for the instruction fees of the lawyers which the parties had hired.

In November last year, the court had ordered the Simbamanyo Estates owner, Peter Kamya to pay USh1.3 billion in legal costs resulting from five applications he lost to Equity bank, Meera Investments Ltd and Luwaluwa Investments Ltd.

Mr Kamya had sought cancellation of the sale and transfer of Simbamanyo House on Lumumba Avenue and Afrique suites at Mutungo Hill.

Simbamanyo also wanted orders to be given in ownership, possession, control and operations of the office block rental business.

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